WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Wednesday applauded House passage of the bipartisan Help Find the Missing Act or “Billy’s Law,” which will now be sent to the President’s desk for his signature. This legislation, which passed the Senate last week, will close loopholes in America’s missing persons systems by streamlining the missing persons reporting process and ensuring that law enforcement databases are more accessible and comprehensive. U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.-05) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“This moment has been 15 years in the making, and I’m so proud that thanks to the Smolinskis’ persistence, Billy’s Law is headed for the President’s desk to be signed into law. This legislation will ensure that families facing the uncertainty and heartache of a loved one’s disappearance are no longer burdened by unnecessary obstacles in their search for answers and closure,” said Murphy.
Billy's Law was originally introduced in the House of Representatives in 2009 by then-Congressman Chris Murphy. The bill was conceived by Janice and Bill Smolinski of Cheshire, Connecticut, after their 31-year-old son Billy went missing from Waterbury, Connecticut. While working with law enforcement to locate their missing son, the Smolinskis faced countless systemic challenges, most significantly the incomplete and uncoordinated federal databases for missing persons and unidentified remains. Billy's Law was introduced to address those challenges and help ensure that the tens of thousands of American families whose loved ones go missing each year do not experience the same hurdles faced by the Smolinskis.
Full text of the bill is available here.
A section-by-section of the bill is available here.
A one-pager of the bill is available here.